While the Bulls' five-game win streak has been interesting, so were Joakim Noah's comments after Saturday's win over Charlotte.
Noah talked about how tough it was to see longtime teammate Luol Deng traded to Cleveland. He also promised to keep fighting for the fans of Chicago.
"To me, that's who he is. He's an emotional guy," coach Tom Thibodeau said of Noah. "He's one of the leaders of the team. I think you knew he cares about winning. He cares about his teammates. I think that was a normal reaction.
"He's one of our vets. We count on his leadership. It's more through his actions. His words were great, but it's his actions that are most important."
Noah shrugged off the notion that his postgame talk was anything special.
"It's just comments, man. It's how I feel," Noah said Monday. "Everybody can be a leader. You bring it on the defensive end. Make a hustle play. Work out hard. I think those are all leadership qualities. I don't think you have to be vocal to be a leader. Just bring it. That's leadership in itself."
All swell for Snell:
Newcomer Cartier Martin played more than rookie Tony Snell in Saturday's victory over Charlotte. Coach Tom Thibodeau was asked about Martin's strong play potentially affecting Snell's minutes.
"It doesn't impact him at all," Thibodeau said. "He just has to continue to grow and work. This is his rookie year. He's learning the league, learning the system. He's had some very good moments. He's had some learning moments. That's the way I want him to approach it. He's doing fine."
Snell came out aggressive against the Wizards, scoring 7 quick points on two drives to the basket and a 3-pointer. He finished with 12 points in 16 minutes, while Martin played just nine minutes due to the return of Jimmy Butler from a bruised quad.
Belief in the boss:
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau had nice things to say about chairman Jerry Reinsdorf at Monday's shootaround when asked if he's convinced the team is committed to winning.
"Listen, Jerry's owned the team for a long time," Thibodeau said. "Not many people own two major sports franchises. I think he has a very good understanding over winning and losing and what goes into it. There's a lot of tough decisions that have to be made. I don't think he ever shies away from it. He's treated me great, so that's all I can go by."
Rose off crutches:
Coach Tom Thibodeau provided a brief Derrick Rose recovery update on Monday.
"He's coming along fine," Thibodeau said. "He's off the crutches and he's doing more and more, but he still has a long way to go. He'll probably start traveling in the next couple weeks. He's doing great."
Nazr Mohammad suffered a sprained left middle finger in the first half. ... Washington started a big lineup of Marcin Gortat and Nene together for the first time since Dec. 6.